Yesterday I could no longer deny that time is short to create a decent garden. The garden centers are filling up with ready-made porch planters and hanging baskets, retail’s gentle way of letting customers know that their options are dwindling for summer blooms.
Once again I am relying on lots of petunias. There’s no doubt that petunias are reliable, pretty bloomers, but I think of them as the perm of home gardening. Just like I wanted big hair back in the 80’s, I want a high density of flowers in my garden beds now.
I like the wash-and-wear convenience of petunias, as well. By the way, my hair is almost always wash-and-wear. There has not been a single bottle of hairspray in this house in over a year.
I found some petunias in different sizes, from large Wave petunias to little calibrachoa (which I haven’t tried before and could be the Toni home perm of my garden, if I going to continue the hair analogy).
I also added a fuschia hanging basket. My mom had one years ago that was massive with white centers that I wish I had found when I was shopping for plants yesterday. The purple and hot pink one I found is good enough.
In other news, I can’t decide which WordPress theme would be best for this blog. I’m back to the reliable Twenty-Sixteen theme for now.
The solstice is still three weeks away, but summer is here, nonetheless. I like to hold onto this season for as long as possible. For me, it’s here by Memorial Day, and I let it linger until its proper end at the September equinox.
The peonies are nearly spent, and the irises have lost their blooms. Now is when hothouse-born annuals can safely sing their melodies that will be encored ceaselessly until frost silences them in the fall.
Trees and bushes are still flowering. I noticed that dogwood and spirea are in bloom. Milkweed plants are fat with buds which will host a smorgasboard for butterflies near the end of the month.
Smorgasbord . . . this term has grown archaic, hasn’t it? It brings to mind a bizarre Jerry Lewis movie called Cracking Up, wherein he plays a character who tries therapeutic hypnosis. Hearing his trigger word (which happens to be smorgasbord) has unpredictable results. The guy who played Stan on The Golden Girls is his therapist in the movie. This reminds that I should watch that movie again sometime.
Above is one of the mammoth Russian sunflowers I grew three years ago. I’m still waiting for them to germinate this year, and I’m already filled with anticipation for the their late dinner-plate gauge blooms. Mammoth Russians have what I imagine to be the greatest joy-per-penny spent ratio in gardening. For as little as 50 cents, you can have an entire flower bed of 12-foot-high yellow wonder awaiting you in August.
My daughter and I grew this wildflower from a dollar store mixed seed packet the summer of our tantrum-laced zoo visit. Tending to this garden was definitely a highlight of an otherwise tough year.